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7 Things You Must Know to Become a Massage Therapist

7 Things You Must Know to Become a Massage Therapist

If you are looking for a career that offers you a lot of freedom and flexibility, you may want to consider becoming a massage therapist. There are many career opportunities within this field, and you can choose to work in a clinic setting, or branch out on your own. If this is something that interests you, the first thing you need to do is sit down and look at the industry itself, as well as the pros and cons of becoming a massage therapist. Once you have decided that you do want to go into this line of work, there are several things that you will need to do.

1. Research Licensing Requirements

In most states, you will be required to have licensing of some kind. In fact, some areas require that you have a license for certain types of massage, and not for others. You will need to research local requirements in your area before you begin training. That way, you will know exactly what you need for training in order to qualify for licensing.

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2. Find a Training Program

The next step in the process is to look for the best training program in your area. There are loads of massage schools you can get the training through, so it is important to really do your research to make sure that you find the training that is going to put you onto the career path that you want. Most schools teach basic massage techniques, as well as specialized techniques. Look for one that caters to your particular interests. Some of the best training programs to look into include:

3. Look Into Specializing

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, there are many career opportunities within the field of massage therapy. You may be interested in specializing in one of the specialty areas, especially when you are just getting started. Look at the massage techniques you are most interested in, and decide if you would like to specialize in any of these areas. Just make sure that you have overall training, so you are able to work anywhere without being restricted.

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4. Get Financing

Unless you have saved up enough money to pay for your training, you will need to get financing. Most massage schools are fairly pricey, with tuition rates ranging from a few thousand dollars to well over $10,000. Most schools do offer some form of financial assistance, and there are also federal student loans, which your school can help you obtain.

5. Get Licensed

Once you have received your training, you may be required to get licensed, depending on the rules in your jurisdiction. Ask your school for help to understand all of the requirements for obtaining your license. Some states also require National Certification, and many are accepting a different exam that is from the Federation of Massage State Boards.

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6. Look Into Certification

You may also want to find out about becoming certified. This is not something that is required by all jurisdictions, but it can help to increase your career opportunities. Ask about the National Certification Board of Massage Therapy, which offers an exam-based program for certification.

7. Get a Business License

There are some states that do not regulate massage therapy, and if you want to open your own business, you may need to get a specific business license. The requirements vary between states, so you will need to check your locality to find out what the permit and licensing requirements are. If you decide to have employees, you will also need to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

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Featured photo credit: rhythmuswege via pixabay.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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